Tuesday, June 10, 2014

If You're Not Playing White, You're Doing It Wrong

Another season, same old story. White continues to be the dominant color in Standard Pauper. In the past I've written at length about why I believe White often positioned so well in the metagame. Essentially, it comes down to versatility. White has great creatures, combat tricks, protection, and removal - what more could you ask for? It may not do all those things as well as other color, but the fact that it has access to all of them makes it almost always the right choice.

Of course, the fact that White is the secondary color of Enchantment removal in an "Enchantments-matter" set, doesn't hurt either.

Which is not to say that White should always be the dominant color in every deck. Merely that, all other things being equal, you probably want access to it. To illustrate my point, here's the winning decklist from yesterday's MPDC 25.02:

Essentially, this deck is a typical Mono Black Control build that splashes White in order to recurse its own Enchantments while dealing with the opponent's. According to RRR726, it is based on this list from DrChrisBakerDC's blog, where he discusses it at some length. This added utility for Enchantments certainly strengthens the Mono Black build, and most of the time will probably prove superior to it.

So are there other popular decks in the format that could use a touch of vanilla to make them that much better? Let me know your thoughts below. See you next time.


  1. You mislinked my deck/article - he was referencing my newest list/article from last Saturday.




    Also - see my Boros Heroic deck. Add white to mono-red and that's what you get. Goodness :D

    1. Whoops. I will fix that right now. :)

  2. Beyond adding enchantment removal, adding white to MBC added great recursion & card advantage. The ability to cast a Font of Return for full value more than once in a game is stunning!
    I generally try to brew & test decks over the weekend & have something in mind by Sunday night or Monday morning for MPDC. This past weekend I was distracted by my newest addiction, Hearthstone. (it's all YOUR FAULT, Gwyned!) I had resigned myself to just playing a stock MBC and see how it did against the new field. Then I saw that Dr. Chris had a new blog post, looked everything over and thought I'd give the BwC a try. I changed 3 of the sideboard slots but left the main deck intact.
    As I said, the addition of white doesn't just give the deck the ability to deal with the multitude of enchantments in the current meta, it gives it so much more. Quite a few times I found myself chump blocking with an Auramancer just so I could fill my graveyard and get full value from a Font of Return. I laughed menacingly to myself as people killed my Garys & Disciples, knowing they'd be back shortly to do what they do. But most often the Auramancers were bringing back Quag Sickness and Stab Wound for double duty.
    The worst matchups for this deck would probably be Dimir Mill, and definitely Aggro god-draws. The one loss I took was to the Doctor's Boros Hero build. It just got away too fast. Against a creature-light deck, like Mill, there's just too many dead removal cards and no room in sideboard for discard options.
    I can't speak to cramming white into every deck, but it is certainly dominant in the meta right now.
    Thanks again to the good Doctor for a fine brew, handing me my first standard PDC gold (hey, whatever happened to my trophy from the season 24 special?) If past experience holds true, there will be half dozen BwC decks next Monday. So the question is, should I be one of them or be trying to beat them?

  3. I chose to run a traditional straight black deck and faced the Bw deck in the Swiss. The contrast was made very stark as he had every out I would have in a traditional mirror match, but the card advantage engine and the extra answers provided by Auramancer-Font and Keening Apparition had me completely outclassed. I see no reason to run straight black at all anymore.